Australia II Collection

America's Cup Collection


WAM 38


The Australia II / America's Cup Collection (over 1,500 items excluding documents) includes: the yacht Australia II and rigging; memorabillia and merchandising, crew clothing, the iconic boxing kangaroo flags (including the very first prototype and subsequent derivatives), syndicate challenge and defence documents and records (10 filing cabinets) yacht plans, and models, school children's artworks, telegrams and press clippings.

The focus of the Australia II / America's Cup Collection is to preserve the yacht and its fittings and the clothing worn by the crew at the moment they won the America's Cup in 1983; and materials associated with Western Australia's challenges over the preceding decade, and the 1987 defence of the America's Cup. Winning the America's Cup broke a 132 year winning streak and took Australia, Australian technology, and Australian sailors to the pinnacle of the sporting world. This collection documents that achievement; the process that led to the success; and the ongoing social impacts that evolved from it. Designed by Ben Lexcen and built by Steve Ward at Cottesloe, WA, Australia II won the America's Cup, the world's oldest perpetual international sporting trophy held by the American's for 132 (1851-1983) years. By 1983 the Cup symbolised national excellence in sporting prowess, national superiority and ingenuity and the pinnacle of sporting achievement. The challenge was mounted by a syndicate lead by West Australian rags to riches English immigrant, Alan Bond, under the auspices of the Royal Perth Yacht Club. Although the crew represented all the Australian states, most of them were from WA where the syndicate was based. In 1987 the defence of the Cup was held and lost in Fremantle. The social, economic and political context of Australia's era of holding the America's Cup is often referred to as the decadent eighties. Reflecting the national importance of the yacht a museum building was designed for its display in Darling Harbour in the 1980s. Subsequently in the 1990s another museum building was designed and built for its display in Fremantle. The yacht is of international, national and state signficance and addresses all of the ICOMOS signficance criteria.

Some material may be subject to copyright.

Viewable in exhibitions at WA Maritime Museum, WA Museum in Perth, Albany and Geraldton. Collection storage areas may be accessed by prior appointment.

Item descriptions, specifications, images, conservation & location history available through the WA Museum Maritime History Department's Research and Integrated Collection Management System.


1983; 1987 Defence; 20th century; America's Cup; America's Cup, 1983; Austrlai II; Kookaburra; Royal Perth Yacht Club

Alan Bond; Ben Lexcen; Royal Perth Yacht Club; Steve Ward

Art; Children's art; Documents; Memorabillia; Models; Newspaper clippings; Parts of vessels (watercraft); Plans; Sailing; Telegrams; Vessels (watercraft); Yacht racing; Yachts

Artefacts; Australiana; Collectibles; Kangaroos; Marine engineering; Maritime history; Media texts; Rigging; Sailing; Scale models; Water transport; Yacht racing; Yachts

Documents; Watercraft; Yachts

Coverage Spatial

Perth, Western Australia; International; Western Australia; Cottesloe, Western Australia

Coverage Temporal



Related Collections


2012-05-30 23:42

2011-03-31 00:17